Jennifer Lawrence took home the Screen Actors Guild award last night for Lead Female Actor in a Leading Role for her portrayal as Tiffany in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Viewers at home learned two very important things from her acceptance speech: the first, that MTV gave Lawrence the role that landed her a SAG card -- a funny "Sweet 16" promo; the second, that the director of “Silver Linings Playbook” took on the project so his 18-year-old son wouldn’t feel so alone.
David O. Russell, who also wrote the screenplay for the dark comedy, told “Awards Daily” last year that he took on the project for his son who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He explained, “I was looking for a story that I could tell that would reflect my older son’s experience in the world, and make him feel like part of the world.”
“Silver Linings Playbook” follows Pat (played by Bradley Cooper), a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder, as he moves in with his mom and dad after being released from a mental institution. The film honestly depicts his struggles and shows how his relationships are impacted by his condition.
In her speech, Lawrence thanked Russell, saying “You made a movie for your son, so that he wouldn’t feel alone and so that he could feel understood. I think I can speak on behalf of most of us in saying that you helped more than your son. You’ve helped so many sons and daughters.”
Jen is so spot on. According to the National Institute of Mental Health: "Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year."
“Silver Linings Playbook” is nominated for eight Academy Awards (Will Jen nab her first Oscar?) and is in theaters now. If you or someone you know is seeking help for a mental illness, you can find resources here.